Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. - Matthew 5:6 NRSV
How does it feel to be physically hungry and thirsty? We are blessed in this country that most of us do not know that feeling. At most, we may experience occasional stomach rumbling or, for those with low blood sugar, lightheadedness. I wonder how our experience of reading this scripture might change if we hadn’t eaten or drank for 40-days like Jesus in the wilderness.
We may not fully identify with the physical hunger and thirst, but we all have experienced this spiritually. Ever since the fall of man, we' have been separated from Godly thinking and actions. Our natural inclination is toward sin. While that is our bent, it doesn't have to be our choice. That thing that is broken and missing is available. In accepting Jesus Christ, we are introduced to his righteousness.
However, this hunger and thirst are not met by a one-time filling but a continual process of being fed. As we seek God's plan for us, his church, his community, and his world, we are filled with the Holy Spirit but need to return to the table. To use some Wesleyan theology, the coming to the table of Christ is experiencing God's justifying grace. The continual feasting at his table and growing into God's righteousness is sanctifying grace.
God of all grace, we give you thanks for filling our spiritual hunger. We give thanks for the redemptive healing power found through Jesus Christ. We come before you today hungry and thirsty for your righteousness. Please help us grow within your grace. Fill us with your Holy Spirit that our words and actions reflect your heart and mind. We ask this Jesus' name. Amen.